Paramus Catholic hires former NBA player as boys basketball coach

·3 min read

Paramus Catholic’s new boys basketball coach is one of the greatest players to ever come out of North Jersey.

Tim Thomas, a three-time high school All-American at Paterson Catholic who played 13 seasons in the NBA, has been hired to lead the program at New Jersey’s largest parochial school.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to give back and I’m looking forward to it,” said Thomas, 46.

"I think it's a great thing for our school and I think it's a great hire," said Paramus Catholic athletic director Bill McPartland, who is stepping down in June and being replaced by Jimmy Cavallo. "I think he is going to be an absolute home run for us."

Thomas replaces Mike Doto, who in six seasons led Paramus Catholic to a 67-79 record. Doto, a former football and basketball standout at Cresskill, led the Paladins to a 13-15 record this past season before announcing his retirement.

Tim Thomas had two stints with the Knicks during his 13-season career in the NBA.
Tim Thomas had two stints with the Knicks during his 13-season career in the NBA.

"My vision is to get kids and see them grow and develop, week by week, month by month, year by year. And obviously help those kids reach their goal of playing college basketball," said Thomas, a former high school coach in California. "The winning and losing, those things are going to happen naturally, it's organic, but the end goal for me is to make sure these young men are growing and developing."

Thomas played 13 seasons in the NBA (1997-2010) for seven teams, including two tours with the Knicks. He also played for the 76ers, Bucks, Bulls, Suns, Clippers and Mavericks.

He is a 1996 graduate of Paterson Catholic, where he earned All-American honors his final three seasons and scored 2,232 career points. He played one season at Villanova and was named Big East Freshman of the Year.

Thomas has residences on the East and West coasts and coached for three seasons in California at Faith Baptist. The 6-foot-10 Thomas, who has played all five positions over his career, also has been an AAU coach and trained players.

"The most exciting part is to coach, help raise great young men, be a mentor to them, and to share my experiences within the game," Thomas said. "Make it fun, challenge them a little bit, and prepare them for the game of life, and prepare them for the next step, which is college basketball."

Paramus Catholic plays in the toughest division in New Jersey, the Big North Conference United Division. The Paladins play two regular season games apiece against Don Bosco, Bergen Catholic, St. Joseph and DePaul, and Thomas looks forward to the tough schedule.

Tim Thomas is a 1996 graduate of Paterson Catholic and was a three-time high school All-American.
Tim Thomas is a 1996 graduate of Paterson Catholic and was a three-time high school All-American.

"You want to put the kids in the best situation possible during their high school careers to help them prepare for college," Thomas said. "So it's one of the reasons that taking the job at Paramus Catholic was so interesting, because you do get a chance to play against some of the elite programs in the state."

He hopes that his more than 30 years' experience as a high school, college and NBA player, as well as his coaching experience, will draw high school players toward Paramus Catholic.

"There are a lot of great coaches, obviously, in the state of New Jersey," Thomas said. "But you rarely find guys that played at the highest level, and played at almost every level. That experience alone is going to draw kids in to Paramus Catholic and to play for me."

Thomas said the Paramus Catholic job is a good fit because it allows him be with his family, including his 5-year-old son.

"I've turned down college jobs, I've turned down pro jobs, and the reason is I'd rather stay stationary," Thomas said. “I’d rather be in a situation where it’s convenient for me to be able to give back and not have to travel as much, per se.”

This article originally appeared on Tim Thomas named Paramus Catholic NJ boys basketball coach